ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday asked the federal and provincial government to submit details of mechanism devised for the preservation of groundwater and measures taken to prevent its exploitation.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, heard a suo motu case regarding the sale of bottled water and extraction of groundwater by private companies and said that these “mineral water companies were using groundwater, but the government didn’t move to fix them”.
As the hearing went underway, Justice Nisar said, “Water would be scarce in the near future and it will not be available even on gold rates.”
He also called upon industrialists to adopt a mechanism to recycle used water.
The Punjab advocate general, who was present in the court said, “A summary had been forwarded to the prime minister and the cabinet for approval regarding water policy.”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the court had also ordered recycling of water, to which the top judge said, ‘The law commission has prepared a good recommendation report in this regard, but the government doesn’t appear to implement it.”
CJP Nisar reprimanded the government and said that ‘they neither have intent nor ability to work on the issue,” adding that “the water level had reached an alarming level in Quetta and soon people would start migrating from the city”.
Earlier, the chief justice had said that the mineral water companies are using as much as seven billion gallons of water and very soon Re1/litre tax will be imposed on the water companies.
“Earlier there were zero charges on the companies. But with the imposition of taxes, we can generate taxes worth billions of rupees for the dams fund,” he had added.
CJP Nisar said that in the next 30 years, the country’s population can go up to 450 million and the situation demands immediate institutional reforms in the country.